Why you need a CRM for customer service and support

Evaluating A CRM


It's a fast-paced world out there, and now more than ever, customers expect that communications, especially from businesses, will be addressed quickly and efficiently. With limited resources and increasing demands, nonprofits and membership-driven organizations like YMCAs and JCCs face unique challenges in meeting these expectations.

Today, it's no surprise that near-instant and efficient communication has become the norm. Customers expect quick and effective responses to their inquiries, and nonprofits are no exception. With so many ways to reach out, like email, website forms, and social media, it's easier than ever for customers to get in touch with their questions and concerns. This also means organizations need to learn how to manage all these interactions smoothly and effectively. Enter, a CRM designed for case management.

The short answer to why you need a CRM for customer service and support is simple: you have too much to do and not enough people to do it.

What is case management?

In customer service and support, case management means tracking and handling customer interactions, inquiries, and issues from start to finish. For YMCAs and nonprofit organizations, this can encompass the intake of information from constituents, including members, donors, volunteers, program participants, or anyone engaged with your organization.

From requesting a refund to questions about registration, holds, payment updates or membership changes, a CRM designed for case management helps organizations handle these tasks smoothly, ensuring customers receive prompt and personalized support.

The shift toward centralized operations in YMCAs

This heightened demand for prompt responses has made it more critical than ever to implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. In recent years, we've observed a significant shift in organizational strategies among YMCAs and nonprofits, with a move from managing support at individual branches to adopting a centralized operations model.

This change highlights a growing recognition of the efficiencies gained through implementing a CRM for customer service and support. When all cases are centralized, barriers between staff across departments or facility locations disappear ultimately enhancing service to community members through streamlined processes.

There are many avenues for an organization to receive queries but without a CRM there is no real organization of those communications.
Enable your team with anywhere, anytime collaboration

Is there anything more satisfying than getting a timely response to a question? When organizations manually distribute incoming communications—like forwarding emails— they can become prone to human error. Staff members on vacation, overloaded inboxes, and the sheer volume of queries can lead to missed messages. Managing phone calls, online forms, and in-person inquiries also requires follow-up. With case management, all these channels are centralized in one database so nothing slips through the cracks.

The key advantages of using a CRM for customer service and support:

  • Centralize request management: No more spreadsheets or wondering what ever happened to... Organize requests and make it easy to track and complete them.
  • Staff visibility: Make it effortless for your team to assist customers and track past interactions, regardless of who's helping or where they are.
  • Automate query tracking: Route incoming queries to the most suitable person saving time and reducing chances of oversight.
  • Friendly reminders and alerts: With features like automated responses and escalation alerts mean there’s virtually no way for a case to fall by the wayside.

Imagine if every email that landed in your inbox was a problem you could easily solve. With a system that puts all the information you need right at your fingertips and reminds you of upcoming tasks, handling queries becomes a breeze, so you can focus on more value-added activities like building relationships with members.

Having a single source of truth—all your member data in one place—is the key to streamlining your organizational processes. In an instant, you can access all the pertinent info regarding each customer query, including when it came in, assigned recipient, and resolution status.

Immediate benefits for members

  • Faster resolutions: With automated tasks like email responses, scheduling follow-ups, and assigning cases, members don't wait as long for answers.
  • Positive interactions: Efficient processes mean fewer complaints, and happy customers are more likely to remain engaged with your organization, and keep coming back.
  • Personalized communication: By centralizing customer data, CRMs make it easier for staff to personalize interactions. This leads to stronger relationships and better understanding of member needs.
Empower your stakeholders with data driven insights

If knowledge is power, then data is the cherry on top. Organizations are increasingly leveraging their data to inform business decisions, with CRMs at the forefront. These systems allow for the creation of customizable reports, that makes the most sense to you, your team, and your organization's operations - whether that's daily, weekly, or monthly summaries, or detailed analyses based on specific programs or activities. With the option to build custom reports means there's no limit to addressing your unique inquiries.

It’s one thing to collect data but it’s quite another to be able to visualize and share it with the decision makers in your organization. The real magic happens when your data is visualized, when numbers and graphs become easy-to-read dashboards complete with relevant information that can be actioned on. This shift not only enhances the strategic decision-making process but also ensures that every piece of data collected serves a purpose, driving your organization towards its goals.

Big wins for your organization

For customer service managers, leveraging historical data is key to optimizing customer support resources. By analyzing past trends, you can anticipate peak times such as just before camp registration, ensuring adequate staffing levels.

A history of data can also help you deflect future inquiries with proactive communications. For example, if you’re getting many of the same questions on a particular topic, you can address the issue by sending out a newsletter or creating a self-serve solution, like referring the customer to an FAQ page on your website.

Additionally, referring to your data can also help make smarter staffing decisions. At a glance, the leadership team or customer service managers can see the average resolution time per team member, which team member has too many cases to deal with, and other variables that could be holding your staff back from doing their best work.

The same system can also be utilized for staff support questions and internal services, helping teams stay organized and productive.

Is it about time to create a consistent and positive customer support experience?

Why settle for 'good enough' when you can have exceptional? While some organizations might cling to familiar systems, embracing a centralized member support system offers a gateway to consistently outstanding customer experiences. It's about recognizing that even if things aren't broken, there's always room for improvement and innovation. By making the leap, you're not just upgrading your processes—you're paving the way for a future where customer support is not just satisfactory, but truly exceptional.

Learn more about all the ways you can support your customers and other community members.

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